Real Name: Aeroika
Identity/Class: Extra-dimensional (Tunnelworld);
one of the Winged Ones
Occupation: Freedom Fighter; former slave
Affiliations: Winged Ones;
ally of the Defenders (Dr. Strange, Hulk, Namor), the Nya, Xhoohx
Enemies: Unnameable and its servants;
Ytitnedion and the Buzzard People
Known Relatives: none
Aliases: the Last
Base of Operations: Tunnelworld; formerly Ogeon.
First Appearance: Defenders I#78 (December, 1979)
Powers/Abilities: Aeroika is a spirited
warrior dedicated to the freedom of his race. While not
apparently having any specific training, he is nonetheless a
reasonably talented swordsman and combatant. Despite the wings on
his head, he is unable to fly, except when within a magical realm
such as the Orb of Ommennon.
He also possesses some degree of telepathic power, enabling him to communicate with and read the minds of others, usually when the others are asleep, via the Dreamspeech.
(Defenders I#79 (fb)) - Aeroika was one of the many Winged Ones created by Ytitnedion and forced to serve the Buzzard People in Ogeon. When the Defenders captured the Nilffim Riders (@ Defenders I#72), the Winged Ones managed to smuggle him out, so that he might join the fight against the Unnameable and fulfill the prophecy of his race.
(Defenders I#78) - Aeroika waited for several days at an inn before finally meeting and joining forces with the Defenders, who had returned to Tunnelworld to combat the Unnameable.
(Defenders I#79) - Aeroika brought the Defenders to a safe haven, protected by the Nya, where he learned of their pasts and shared the prophecy of the Winged Ones.
(Defenders I#80) - Aeroika and the Defenders were assaulted by an advance force of Ytitnedion in the Nya's sacred valley. Aeroika was struck in the shoulder by an arrow, but the Hulk drove the rest of the Buzzard People off. Dr. Strange treated Aeroika's wound with the herbs of the valley, sending him on a speedy recovery. Aeroika then began to lead them to Ogeon.
(Defenders I#81) - Aeroika convinced two
merchants to help them sneak into Ogeon under the cover of their
cargo. Once in Ogeon, they were distraught to see that Xhoohx had
been defeated and imprisoned, and Aeroika was then discovered by
two of Ytitnedion's soldiers. Aeroika had nearly bluffed the
soldiers into believing that he was carrying out the orders of
Ytitnedion's nephew, when Namor, impatient as always, confronted
the soldiers and started a fight. The fight drew the attention of
the enslaved Winged Ones, who broke away from their slave
caravans and joined the fight against the soldiers. The fight
also drew the attention of Ytitnedion himself, who unleashed the
Crusher against the rebellion. Namor dismantled the main weapon
of the Crusher, but only after it had incapacitated the Hulk, who
was captured by Ytitnedion's forces.
Nonetheless, Aeroika then rallied the Winged Ones to continue to take arms and continue to battle until they had gained freedom, although Strange and Namor both noted that the Winged Ones had little to fight with besides hope.
(Defenders I#82) - Ytitnedion unleashed another Crusher against the rebellion, slaughtering the Winged Ones by the score. Dr. Strange and Namor joined the fight, and Aeroika inspired his people to turn the tides and drive off their attackers. Aeroika then led a small group to sneak into Ytitnedion's castle through its sewers, where they found numerous victims of Ytitnedion's torture. They were forced to slaughter a few who were too far gone, which served to strengthen their resolve against the Buzzard-King. Dr. Strange managed to temporarily neutralize the Hulk, who had fallen under the control of the Unnameable, and Aeroika saved Strange from ambush by knocking out Ytitnedion with the flat of his sword.
(Defenders I#83) - Aeroika spoke to the people
of Ogeon, revealing that the tyrant Ytitnedion had been
overthrown, but most of the population was too fearful the
Unnameable to join their struggle. Aeroika and several Winged
Ones led the Defenders to the edge of Tunnelworld to bury the
fallen sorcerer Xhoohx, but there Ytitnedion broke himself and
the Hulk free and attacked them. The Unnameable itself joined the
conflict, and Dr. Strange pulled everyone present into the Orb of
Ommennon, where the Unnameable's power was greatly blunted.
Still, the Unnameable summoned the forms of many of the Hulk's
foes from his mind and sent them to battle the Defenders. Aeroika
found that within the Orb he gained the power of flight, and
joined the fight in full force.
Dr. Strange managed to trap and defeat the Unnameable, after which Aeroika went home to find out what is was like to be free. He did think that he might one day journey beyond the confines of Tunnelworld.
Comments: Created by Ed Hannigan and
By the way, you might know that Beethoven's Third Symphony was called Eroica and was supposedly inspired by Napoleon. Sooo...
If I hadn't double-checked the credits, I'd have been sure that the whole Tunnelworld saga had to be a product of the mind of Gerber.
Despite working on the same side, I don't
believe Xhoohx and Aeroika actually met. Xhoohx sacrificed his
life to aid Dr. Strange and his group, while Aeroika did not
actively assist Xhoohx in any way (although he would have, had he
had the chance). For that reason, I listed Xhoohx as an ally of
Aeroika, and not vice-versa.
No known connection to:
(Defenders I#79 (fb)) - The Winged Ones were
created by Ytitnedion. They were the only symbol of beauty in
Ogeon, and the purpose of their existence was so that the Buzzard
People would have a symbol of good to degrade, freedom to cage, a
spirit to break again and again. They were made with wings, but
could not fly--the wings served only to make them long for the
sky, which fit with Ytitnedion's sense of the absurd and worship
of contradiction. They were forced to become the servants of the
Buzzard People, and to endure their scorn and envy every second
of their waking lives.
But they were able to endure it by making friends with the hidden Nya, and they formed the dream that one day Ogeon would fall, and one of their race would wield a sword against evil--and that same one would one day fly with the wings of the mind. And that one would be called the Last, and be slave no more.
And so it was--the dream, for so long making the pain bearable, until some of the Nilffim Riders disappeared (after being captured by the Defenders in Defenders I#72), and in the turmoil and preparation for war, the Winged Ones were able to smuggle Aeroika out of Ogeon. The Winged Ones were elated, as the first sign of the prophecy had come to pass.
(Defenders I#81) - When Aeroika and the
Defenders fought against the soldiers of Ytitnedion in Ogeon, the
Winged Ones saw Aeroika wielding a weapon and believed that this
was the second part of the prophecy. They broke out of their
slave caravan and joined the fight. After initial success and
escape, Aeroika convinced them to continue the rebellion until
they had gained their freedom.
Ytitnedion, however, revealed that he was secretly leading them to the false prophecy, so that he could then dash their hopes and break their wills even further.
(Defenders I#82) - Ytitnedion unleashed another Crusher against the rebellion, slaughtering the Winged Ones by the score. Dr. Strange and Namor joined the fight, and Aeroika inspired his people to turn the tides and drive off their attackers. Aeroika then led a small group to sneak into Ytitnedion's castle through its sewers.
(Defenders I#83) - A few Winged Ones accompanied Aeroika and the Defenders to the edge of Tunnelworld, but they were slain when the Unnameable exerted its full force against the group. However, the Unnameable was defeated and Ytitnedion succumbed to madness and apparently fell to his death, leaving the Winged Ones free at last.
--Defenders I#78 (79(fb), 78, 81-83
Defenders I#78 (December, 1979) - Ed Hannigan (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Defenders I#79 (January, 1980) - Ed Hannigan (writer/pencils), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Defenders I#80 (February, 1980) - Ed Hannigan (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Defenders I#81 (March, 1980) - Ed Hannigan (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Jack Abel (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Defenders I#82-83 (April-May, 1980) - Ed Hannigan (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Last updated: 09/21/03
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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